A huge focus of mine right now is self-care. I try to spend as much time as I can after work caring for myself and making life a little easier on me. It has been such a relief to have at least a little more free time again, after 4+ years of go, go go in college. Although the demands and frustrations of everyday life still overwhelm me, I finally feel like I have the time and energy to take care of myself and focus on what’s truly important to me (hint, hint: music 😊).
This month, I found out that I have celiac disease which, for those of you who don’t know, is an autoimmune disorder primarily affecting the intestines and digestive system. When a person with celiac ingests gluten, their body signals an immune response that damages the small intestine leading to a menagerie of digestive complications and other reactions. After almost two years of struggling silently with, what I thought at the time were perplexing symptoms, I finally found the answers and relief I was looking for. For several months, I was hiding pain that I continued fueling unknowingly with the food I ate. I was pretty shocked to find out that celiac was the problem, as I never had problems with gluten in my childhood. But by the end of it, I was more relieved to come out with a game plan to resolve the issue and hope in the forecast. Needless to say, self-care has taken on a whole new meaning for me, casting great emphasis on my diet and eating pain free food as my life progresses.
Although I finally know what has been causing so many physical problems for me, it’s going to be a long road to feeling my best. But that’s okay because this is an opportunity for me to slow down, make more careful eating decisions, and take stock of my new limitations with food. I often like to rush myself, expecting too much, too soon. But self-care is about taking life slowly, being present, and having reasonable expectations for ourselves. This is something I have to remind myself, especially now.
I’m not going to feel like superwoman tomorrow and unfortunately, I probably won’t have the energy I used to for a couple months. But this experience has shown that I do have the willpower to turn something that was quietly painful on the inside into hope and joy on the outside. I never gave up on my life even when I felt sick and broken. I picked up music again during a very dark and uncertain time, looking for anything to be of comfort. I just kept going, hoping things would get better. And finally, they are. So now is truly the time to take care of myself and focus on what makes me happy.
P.S. – if anyone knows any bomb AF gluten free recipes, hit me up. I’m especially in need of safe sweets. Love you guys. ❤️